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Escalating Crisis in the Middle EastIran Says It Doesn’t Want War While America Considers Reaction to Deadly Drone Strike

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On Wednesday, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Commander stated that Tehran was not looking for war, suggesting they will not escalate tensions further with the US. He did however warn of their readiness to respond militarily if attacked.

“We hear threatening remarks from American officials,” Gen. Hossein Salami, chief commander of Iran’s powerful military organization was reported as saying by Iranian state news media. “However, because we know each other so well – any threats won’t go unanswered.”

israel war updates
israel war updates

President Biden issued his comments following President Obama’s statement on Tuesday that he had decided on an appropriate response to a weekend drone attack that killed three American soldiers and injured more than 40 at a remote military outpost in Jordan. Based on US intelligence estimates, one or more Iranian-backed militias operating out of Iraq likely carried out this deadly strike against American forces; one of over 160 similar strikes since Israel-Hamas war began last October that targeted American forces.

On Tuesday, Mr. Biden did not offer specifics as to the U.S. response; some Republican lawmakers have encouraged him to attack Iran directly while Mr. Biden maintained he wanted to avoid all-out regional conflict by telling reporters “I don’t think we need a wider war in the Middle East”.

Kata’ib Hezbollah, one of Iran’s most influential regional militias, made an unexpected and surprising announcement Tuesday: they would cease military operations in Iraq where they operate due to pressure from both Iran and Iraq demanding that attacks on U.S. troops cease. A statement issued by this group showed their efforts at deescalating tensions.

The Pentagon has revealed that Kata’ib Hezbollah may have orchestrated an assault against U.S. soldiers in Jordan that killed five.

John F. Kirby, who serves as President Biden’s National Security Council spokesman, found this assessment less clear-cut than previously believed.

“We believe the Jordan attack was planned and funded by an umbrella group known as Islamic Resistance in Iraq which includes multiple subgroups such as Kata’ib Hezbollah,” according to him.

When asked by reporters whether Kata’ib Hezbollah played a key role in the attack, he responded in the affirmative, adding: “This has all of the hallmarks of something Kata’ib Hezbollah would do; however, our intelligence community believes this action was undertaken by its umbrella group”.

Iran has consistently denied involvement in any attacks against U.S. forces, such as the drone strike in Jordan. Instead, they claim that Iran-backed groups known as Axis of Resistance act independently to oppose aggression and occupation by resisting it directly.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian told government officials on Wednesday to forgoing using threats as means of protest and instead focus on finding political solutions for regional crises.

“Iran will react decisively and swiftly in response to any threats to its national security,” stated IRNA (Iran’s state news agency) quoted Abdollahian.

Michael D. Shear has provided reporting.

UN Relief and Works Agency

The UN has warned that suspending funding to its Relief and Works Agency would endanger millions in Gaza.

“Gaza’s humanitarian system is in disarray. All 1.7 million residents face hunger while half suffer catastrophic food insecurity. I therefore call for immediate, safe, sustained humanitarian access throughout Gaza.” “UNRWA services which serve over three-quarters of residents should not be jeopardized by allegations or acts by isolated few individuals; such an injustice represents an extreme disproportion.

Top United Nations officials are calling upon wealthy countries to recommit funds for the U.N. Palestinian aid agency, emphasizing its importance to millions of civilians living in Gaza who were already not receiving enough humanitarian aid prior to funding suspensions.

U.N. officials and representatives from aid agencies warned on Wednesday that any collapse of UNRWA (Commonly known as UNWRA), commonly referred to by its acronym UNRWA) would be disastrous, with no organization capable of replacing their services for Palestinians living in Gaza. Prior to Israel and Hamas’ recent conflict almost four months ago, this organization provided vital food, water, healthcare services, education shelter sanitation services to Gazans – with their importance growing amidst today’s humanitarian crisis according to officials from both institutions.

After Israel revealed that 12 UNRWA employees in Gaza Strip participated in Hamas-led attack against Israel on October 7, the US and other countries have suspended donations to UNRWA.

The United Nations announced it is conducting an investigation of Israel’s allegations and has fired most of those implicated. Officials indicate their agency could begin closing as early as late February without funding being restored.

Martin Griffiths, U.N. humanitarian affairs chief, told the U.N. Security Council: “UNRWA provides lifesaving services to over three-quarters of Gaza’s residents and shouldn’t be jeopardized by actions taken by some individuals,” creating an extraordinary disparity between what UNRWA offers and their perceived behavior by some individuals. He described this situation as “an extraordinary disproportion.”

He emphasized the significance of having adequate funding and operations at UNRWA.

On Wednesday, Mr. Griffiths delivered a candid assessment of Gazan suffering and noted how it has worsened over time, calling upon international donors to reconsider any decisions to withhold aid from reaching Gaza.

Israel has forced most of Gaza’s 2.2 million residents, particularly women and children, to relocate due to aerial bombardments and ground invasion by Israel. Most have relocated southward, where families with young children as well as older adults sleep in tent camps on flooded streets without food or clean water access; much infrastructure such as housing has been destroyed while over 26,000 people – most notably women and children according to Gazan health officials – have died as well as infrastructure systems no longer functioning correctly.

Mr. Griffiths reported that thousands of UNRWA employees have been working tirelessly to distribute inadequate quantities of humanitarian aid permitted into Gaza; they need significantly enhanced security assurances to do this safely, however. Furthermore, UNRWA and other aid groups still lack access to certain areas in Gaza territory according to Mr. Griffiths.

Numerous donor nations remain committed to UNRWA and numerous donor nations remain donors; for example, U.S. officials have noted that their suspension of funding was only temporary while noting UNRWA’s importance as an organization.

“Recent allegations implicating UNRWA employees in Hamas’ Oct 7 attack against Israel has shaken public confidence at an essential time for humanitarian assistance,” stated Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. ambassador at a Security Council meeting.

“To prevent a repeat,” she stated, fundamental changes must be instituted at UNRWA.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the U.N., warned members of the Security Council that efforts to defund Gaza’s ministry might amount to collective punishment of its residents.

Mr. Mansour called on Western nations to support UNRWA, established in 1949 to aid some 700,000 Palestinians displaced during wars related to Israel’s creation but who are not permitted to return home. UNRWA provides services and humanitarian relief assistance for them and their descendants — totalling nearly six million individuals — across Gaza, Israeli-occupied West Bank territory, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

Mr. Mansour asserted that Israel was taking steps to remove any impediments to its plan to eliminate Palestine and the Palestinian people by forcibly dispersing and replacing them, taking control of everything from river to sea, and implementing their supremacist colonial designs.

Israeli leaders have long held dismantling UNRWA as an aim, but even military officials acknowledge its absence as a viable replacement for its administrative and logistical requirements.

Correction issued Jan 31 2024:

Due to an editing mistake, an earlier version of this article incorrectly described how the United Nations responded to Israeli allegations against various employees; most have been terminated; two have even died since war broke out.

How We Manage Corrections

On Wednesday, the US military reported it had successfully targeted and destroyed an Iranian-backed surface-to-air missile that Houthi militants in Yemen planned on using against America from Yemen.

U.S. forces identified an imminent missile threat in Houthi-controlled regions of Yemen that posed an immediate danger to U.S. aircraft operating there, according to a statement released by Central Command.

United States forces deployed F-18 superhornets to strike 10 unmanned drones preparing to launch in western Yemen, an official confirmed reports from CBS journalists.

Since January 11th, the United States has conducted at least 12 strikes in Yemen in response to Houthi attacks on vessels both in Red Sea and Gulf of Aden waters, most aimed at disabling missile launchers that may damage ships.

Houthis, an armed Shiite group that controls western Yemen, have claimed their ship attacks are an act of solidarity with Palestinians who were killed during Israel’s offensive against Hamas – an Iran-backed militia based in Gaza Strip that controlled it – which were killed as part of their offensive against them by Israel. Both Houthis and Hamas share the goal of overthrowing Israel.

Houthi rebels have carried out over 30 attacks, seizing one ship and damaging others. Last week, one of their missiles ignited the Marlin Luanda oil tanker that flew under Marshall Islands’ flag but is owned by a Bermuda company.

U.S. officials revealed on Wednesday that President Biden has authorized reprisals against Iranian-backed militias in Iraq who the U.S. believes were behind Sunday’s deadly bomb attack in Jordan which claimed three American lives, according to U.S. officials. An official explained that any attack against Houthi surface-to-air missile was not part of this initiative.

On Wednesday, the United States initiated an attack against al Qaeda-controlled territory in Yemen after one of their missiles flew directly toward one of their destroyers – U.S.S. Gravely – before it was shot down, the military reported.

Houthi extremists released a statement Wednesday alleging they had fired several missiles at an American destroyer in the Red Sea and promising further attacks until an end is brought about in this conflict and food and medicine are allowed into Gaza Strip.

Eric Schmitt provided reporting assistance.

Chicago City Council approved on Wednesday a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, becoming the largest American city to do so.

Mayor Brandon Johnson broke a 23-to-23 tie vote to ensure passage of his resolution.

Prior to council discussion, residents and activists spoke passionately in support of a ceasefire, cheering and clapping in solidarity with fellow activists and members. Mr. Johnson eventually cleared out the chamber to lower volume while Debra Silverstein, one of only Jewish members on council, spoke against its resolution.

Communities across America have seen similar discussions as passions caused by Gaza have spread through American politics. Chicago and its suburbs have been particularly contentious in this matter, where hundreds of Chicago Public School students took a stand on Tuesday by walking out in support of Resolution #40 by walking out in protest.

One resident stated during the public-comment session prior to council discussion and voting: “Your county is home to the highest concentration of Palestinian exiles in America – exiles who have resided here for 75 years,” one resident explained during public comment session prior to council discussion and voting. For four months now, you have heard us loud and clear – it’s just unfortunate it took this long.”

Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, an activist and civil rights leader from Michigan, attended this meeting to support its resolution. He has joined other Black religious leaders from across the country who are asking President Biden to stop any military operations between North Africa and Libya.

Alderman Daniel La Spata, one of the sponsors of this resolution, acknowledged on Wednesday that its passage would not directly alter international policy.

La Spata explained: “Voting with solidarity allows people to feel heard in an often silent world.”

Even through all their emotions, council members largely maintained an orderly and civil discourse during discussion of this inflammatory topic.

“Some of the arguments here on the floor defy logic,” Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez stated, adding: “How is it that we all seek peace, yet are against ceasefires?”

Since the Oct. 7 attacks, this issue has generated controversy within city leadership. Ms. Silverstein successfully passed a resolution condemning Hamas a week after their attack; yet on Wednesday she complained about not including similar language within her resolution as well.

Ms. Silverstein noted at Wednesday’s meeting: “Everyone wants an end to bloodshed and war,” but to do this responsibly we must first understand what caused these conflicts in the first place and pass a resolution addressing those causes of conflict.

At least 70 cities including San Francisco, Seattle and Detroit have passed resolutions denouncing the war and 47 are demanding its immediate cessation according to Reuters.

On Wednesday, a federal judge rejected a lawsuit by Palestinian Americans seeking to force the White House to stop supporting Israel’s bombing campaign against Gaza, in keeping with constitutional precedent stating that only political branches of government can set foreign policy.

However, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White made headlines by suggesting he would have preferred issuing an injunction if not restricted by the Constitution and advising Biden administration officials to evaluate its support of Israel.

Judge White granted permission for members of a humanitarian group, medical intern and three Palestinian Americans living outside Gaza with relatives living abroad to testify that their relatives were being slaughtered due to US support of Israel’s response to Hamas attacks on October 7th – they allege this has contributed to genocide by supporting Israeli military actions against Hamas attacks.

Laila El-Haddad, a Palestinian activist and author from Maryland told the judge: “President Biden could put an end to it with just one phone call!” According to Laila El-Haddad’s account, Israeli attacks had killed at least 88 members of her extended family in Gaza – “My family is dying on my dime!”

Judge White had described last week’s testimony as “gut-wrenching”, concluding that evidence and testimony presented proved the point that Israel is engaging in a campaign intended to exterminate an entire people group by means of military siege of Gaza.

He noted, however, that in some exceptional instances court action may not be sufficient to achieve desired outcomes.

He identified this case, writing that while individuals had an obligation to challenge the current siege of Gaza, it was also up to this Court to adhere to its jurisdictional framework and any restrictions placed upon its scope.

Legal precedent restricts judicial authority over U.S. presidents when making foreign policy decisions, and lawyers representing the government had maintained that regardless of testimony about Gaza, both White House and Congress possess constitutionally guaranteed authority to craft policy regarding Israel.

At an unexpected turn in events, Judge White, appointed by former President George W. Bush, advised President Biden to reconsider U.S. policy regarding Israel’s military siege as it “may constitute genocide”.

Lawyers representing the plaintiffs stated they planned to appeal the judge’s ruling but were heartened by his comments.

“Despite our disappointment with the outcome, we take heart from the court’s recognition of Israel’s ability to commit genocide in Gaza while being supported by the US.” Said Marc Van Der Hout of counsel for the plaintiffs.

Katherine Gallagher of the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York – lead counsel of the plaintiffs – observed that the court used strong language.

“We hope the executive branch responds quickly and appropriately to this court’s appeal as Gaza remains in such dire straits,” stated Ms. Al-Husaini. She insisted, adding, “this situation must immediately change”.

Hamas launched a terrorist attack against Israel on October 7 that resulted in over 1,200 casualties and the seizure of 240 hostages, according to Israeli authorities. Since then, Israel has intensified its bombing campaign on Gaza as part of an attempt to suppress Hamas rule; local health officials estimate over 25,000 have died there alone including thousands of children; most of its 2.2 million population has either been uprooted or is experiencing hunger conditions as a direct result of this campaign.

On November 13th, several Palestinian humanitarian groups and eight individual supporters filed an unprecedented legal action in California against President Biden, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, and Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III for violating federal common law by failing to abide by customary international law such as the 1948 Genocide Convention.

This lawsuit asked Judge White for an order instructing President Obama and his administration to “take all measures within their power” to stop Israeli acts against Gazan Palestinians, such as cutting aid or blocking attempts by international bodies such as UN for ceasefire implementation.

This hearing occurred this month shortly after the United Nations High Court had ordered Israel not to engage in acts constituting genocide while falling short of calling for a complete end of Gaza war.

South Africa had lodged with the International Court of Justice allegations that Israel’s military response had been orchestrated to deny Palestinians their fundamental human rights.

Major donors to a United Nations agency providing aid for civilians in Gaza have indicated they will support it under appropriate conditions despite Israel’s allegations that some employees of this agency may have participated in terrorist attacks against Israeli targets on Oct 7.

As Israeli officials have called upon international donors to withdraw funding for UNRWA, this may signal there is support among donors for finding solutions to its funding woes.

At least 12 countries – including major donors United States and Germany – have temporarily suspended funding after initial claims by Israel against several of them. Furthermore, on Friday morning the UN announced that nine employees have been let go while initiating an investigation.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson from the United States State Department made comments online emphasizing how essential it was for the UN to conduct an investigation, ensure accountability and take measures to prevent repeat incidents; while also acknowledging its contributions as an institution.

UNRWA provides food, water and medicine at scale in Gaza that no other humanitarian player can match, according to Matthew Miller from UNRWA’s Spokesman Team. We hope their work can continue.” On Tuesday, however, the State Department downplayed any immediate implications associated with their suspension.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel presented on Wednesday what has long been advocated by Israeli officials: the dismantlement and replacement of UNRWA with other agencies capable of performing its functions.

“UNRWA officials were complicit in the massacre and I believe it’s high time for both the international community and U.N. to recognize this”, he told visitors in Jerusalem during a video released by his office and distributed socially by them.

Mr. Miller failed to indicate when or if the U.S. government might make its decision regarding financing of an agency which according to its leaders will soon run out of funds.

With investigations of the UN taking so long, UNRWA may experience problems.

Two diplomats familiar with the matter told reporters that U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres informed donor countries during a meeting this week that their investigation will last at least four weeks; according to one diplomat.

Investigations conducted by the Office of Internal Oversight Services of the United Nations can often last months and include interviewing staff members, site visits and conducting forensic analyses on equipment provided by them, according to Vladimir Dzuro – former Senior Investigator with this office.

Unicef, World Food Program and World Health Organization all issued joint statements this week warning of catastrophic repercussions should funding for UNRWA cease. Leaders at these U.N. institutions have for weeks warned about hunger and widespread disease among civilians trapped within warzones of Gaza.

“Removing funding from UNRWA would put at risk Gaza’s humanitarian system,” it stated.

Israeli leaders have long expressed a desire to dismantle UNRWA, which they see as acting as an agent for Hamas. Yet military leaders worry that disbanding it would place Israel directly responsible for providing aid directly in Gaza.

As donors made independent decisions to suspend aid to UNRWA, it remains uncertain how they would react in concert to an investigation conducted by the United Nations.

Sebastian Fischer, Germany’s foreign ministry spokesman, advised journalists this week that Germany will await the results of UNRWA’s investigation before making definitive decisions regarding funding and employment policies for UNRWA. According to Mr. Fischer, UNRWA is an essential provider of aid and protection to Palestinian civilian populations – “it can’t abandon them!” he promised them.

The European Union pledged $114 million to UNRWA in 2022 and has not reduced funding; Josep Borrell Fontelles, its top diplomat, stressed on Wednesday the necessity of maintaining UNRWA’s irreplaceable role.

Norway, one of the few donors not yet suspending aid to UNRWA, plans to convince other donors of the wider repercussions of any funding cuts to UNRWA according to Espen Barth Eide, Norway’s foreign minister.

Eide voiced his concern over some donor countries’ decision to withhold funding based on allegations against only a few employees of an agency, as this approach punished millions of Palestinians collectively, according to him.

He echoed arguments by officials from aid agencies who noted that donors had historically continued funding U.N. missions and agencies even after investigations revealed evidence of serious crimes committed by staff members.

Aaron Boxerman of Jerusalem, Christopher F. Schuetze of Berlin and Henrik Pryser Libell of Oslo contributed reporting.

Unbeknownst to U.S. officials, an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq that may have organized the deadly drone strike on a U.S. base in Jordan over the weekend announced on Tuesday it is ceasing military operations due to pressure from both Iraq’s government and Iran.

President Biden made this statement shortly after declaring his decision on how to respond to Sunday’s attack in Jordan which resulted in three U.S. soldiers dying and raised fears among Iraqis of U.S. reprisal attacks against their territory.

Kata’ib Hezbollah (Brigades of the Party of God), one of several Iran-linked groups operating in Iraq, has been responsible for most attacks against U.S. military installations that have occurred since Israel began ground operations against Gaza on Oct 7 in response to Hamas-led attacks from within its enclave – 160 attacks have taken place thus far.

U.S. military troops currently number over 2,550 in Iraq to advise and train the Iraqi Army, while approximately 900 assist Kurdish Syrian Defense forces fighting Islamic State terrorists in Syria.

Kata’ib Hezbollah forms part of Iran’s Axis of Resistance network of Iranian-supported groups operating across Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen (and sometimes further afield). (Note that Kata’ib Hezbollah should not be confused with Hezbollah militia operating within Lebanon.)

Pentagon officials indicated shortly after the drone strike in Jordan took place that Kata’ib Hezbollah likely planned, resourced, and orchestrated it while White House Spokesman John F Kirby noted Wednesday that American intelligence agencies believed an umbrella network named Islamic Resistance in Iraq likely “planned, resourced, and coordinated” this strike.

Kata’ib Hezbollah was part of this network, according to Abou-Farhan; however, he would not comment on whether they played any role in planning or carrying out the attack itself.

Harakat al Nujaba and Sayyid Shuhada — two Iraqi groups suspected of carrying out strikes against U.S. targets — have not indicated they intend to end attacks against Americans.

Abu Hussein al-Hamidawi, leader of Kata’ib Hezbollah militia in Iraq, issued an announcement: “We announce our suspension of military and security operations against occupation forces – so as to avoid embarrassment to Iraqi government. This was the first time Kata’ib Hezbollah publicly announced such action.”

Iran exerted pressure on Kata’ib Hezbollah to stop targeting U.S. troops, an action they strongly rejected doing. They made sure to emphasize how their targets and timing wouldn’t depend on any directive from Tehran but would come from within themselves instead.

“Our brothers in Axis countries, such as Iran’s Islamic Republic of Iran, do not understand our Jihad tactics and tend to oppose our efforts against American occupation forces in Iraq and Syria,” according to a statement issued by Hamas.

Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder of the Defense Department was asked at a Pentagon briefing about Kata’ib Hezbollah’s announcement and replied that actions speak louder than words.

He concluded by noting: “After 160+ attacks against U.S. forces, I will refrain from editorializing on such statements.”

Interviews conducted with Iraqi and Iranian government officials suggest extensive negotiations have taken place recently between both governments in order to convince Kata’ib Hezbollah to cease attacks against both.

According to senior government advisers, Iraq’s Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani recently made a push for an end to foreign military presence and negotiations regarding an eventual withdrawal of U.S.-led international forces; however, those negotiations failed while under attack from both Iraqi and American officials.

Ultimately, the United States agreed to negotiate without guaranteeing an end to attacks; nevertheless, they exerted pressure in this direction.

Kata’ib Hezbollah and other groups had long ignored Iraqi government requests to disband, until Sunday’s deadly bomb attack in Jordan claimed American lives and Mr. Sudani demanded they immediately stop and reached out directly to Iran via a Revolutionary Guards military strategist who works closely with Axis groups in Iraq.

Mr. Sudani advanced an argument that he was working towards Iran’s main aim — ending U.S. troop presence in Iraq — while Kata’ib Hezbollah attacks were undermining his government’s ability to achieve it, according to an Iranian military strategist and senior Iraqi official who spoke anonymously for their private negotiations discussions.

Hisham al-Rikabi, Iraq’s government spokesman, offered similar remarks. Kata’ib Hezbollah announced its withdrawal following measures taken both internally and externally by Prime Minister Haider Abadi in order to halt further escalation while simultaneously facilitating negotiations for an orderly international coalition withdrawal from Iraq, according to him.

Mr. al-Rikabi concluded by noting: “We encourage all parties to heed the government’s request and reduce tension and eliminate potential hotspots of tension both inside Iraq and its environs.”

Iraqi and Iranian officials close to both leaders report that senior members in Mr. Sudani’s government who were close to Iran took part in negotiations, according to officials close to both leaders. These included former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki as well as two armed groups that have not targeted U.S. forces: Qais al-Khazali and Hadi al-Ameri. Gen. Esmail Qaani of Quds Force participated for Iran – this division of Revolutionary Guards is responsible for dealing with Axis groups outside Iran. Gen. Esmail Qaani represented Iran by way of Quds Force who works with Axis groups outside Iran – this division of Revolutionary Guards are tasked with working with Axis groups outside Iran.

Falih Hassan of Baghdad and Farnaz Fassihi from New York contributed reporting for this story; Eric Schmitt and Michael D. Shear from Washington offered insight.

Nearly every week for nearly 10 years, Iri Kassel picked up sick Palestinian children at Israel’s Erez border crossing with Gaza and brought them with their guardians directly to Israeli hospitals for treatment.

On Oct. 7, Palestinian militants stormed and attacked the crossing by detonating bombs near its passport control booths and magnetic scanners before charging towards southern Israel.

These attacks prompted Israel to wage a full-scale war in Gaza, disrupting Road to Recovery’s efforts of transporting over 1,500 Palestinian patients annually from Gaza hospitals to Israeli hospitals for treatment – work Mr. Kassel volunteers his services for.

Vivian Silver, an esteemed peace activist living on Kibbutz Be’eri in southern Israel was killed when her home was attacked by Hamas-led forces; numerous others such as Oded and Yocheved Lifshitz from Nir Oz near Gaza became hostages during an attack near Gaza border kibbutzes; additionally several more lost loved ones or had to evacuate due to this attack near Gaza border areas.

Mr. Kassel described their staff and volunteer drivers’ reactions as suffering a “massive blow to their stomachs”, with even those who survived experiencing intense physical discomfort as they witnessed what transpired.

Road to Recovery was initiated by peace activist Yuval Roth in 2010 following his brother’s abduction and murder by Hamas militants nearly two decades earlier. It provides Palestinians living in Gaza and West Bank access to some of Israel’s cutting-edge healthcare services in Israel – thus opening access to essential healthcare.

Families seeking medical treatment in Israel face various hurdles to accessing care there, from convincing the Ministry of Health of their PA to cover treatments to securing permission from Hamas and Israel before leaving Gaza and crossing over.

Once Palestinian families arrive in Israel, transportation costs to hospitals can become prohibitively expensive for many of them; Road to Recovery offers a solution.

Yael Noy, Chief Executive of her organization’s, stated that their goal is accomplished through humanitarian aid combined with personal relationships.

“Palestinians often view Israelis as soldiers at checkpoints, while many Israelis may never encounter Palestinians directly,” noted her during an interview. She concluded by emphasizing how these rides provide opportunities for direct human connections.

Mr. Kassel, 77, a retired educator stated he rarely discussed politics directly with Palestinians he met despite their many encounters with conflict. For instance, during an outbreak in hostilities between Israel and Hamas he drove one family to hospital; later upon driving them home again they informed him their house had been damaged due to Israeli military attacks.

Volunteers report that even though the conversations tend to be limited due to language barriers, these trips have allowed them to form meaningful relationships with Palestinian families during these journeys.

As gunfights erupted near Gaza on Oct. 8, volunteers from an anti-Gaza group arrived at a West Bank crossing to collect sick Palestinian children who needed care – an initiative which has persisted despite Israel preventing any crossings from Gaza.

Volunteer drivers report that since the recent attacks, friends have accused them of either being naive or radical for continuing to assist Palestinians. Unfortunately, donations have also declined as Israelis who support its work prioritize other initiatives instead.

Mr. Kassel expressed admiration for friends who continue to volunteer, yet found himself no longer being able to. While understanding that Gazans endure great suffering: their homes and economy have been destroyed; refugees have returned as refugees seeking medical care that rarely exists; emotionally speaking it feels betrayed he concluded by saying, “I feel angry, betrayed, and betrayed.

Ms. Noy noted that her group continues to sign on new volunteers; its West Bank operations have resumed with daily rides as usual; some volunteers who were evacuated from homes near Gaza have changed their routes, now driving from temporary hotel accommodations near Bethlehem crossings to pick up Palestinian patients.

“This project is our way of holding on to hope,” according to Ms. Noy. By helping Palestinians heal, we also take the first steps toward our own self-healing process.

Israeli forces entered another hospital in Gaza after bombing its environs for nine consecutive days, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society on Tuesday.

Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis is operated by the Red Crescent and lies within its compound; here you’ll find both their headquarters and one of their ambulance centers.

Israeli forces deployed tanks into the front yard of a hospital compound where thousands of displaced persons were taking shelter when Israeli forces opened fire with live ammunition and smoke grenades at those sheltering there, ordering them out by force according to Red Crescent reports. At least one person had been reported killed with nine others wounded due to heavy shelling and gunfire near this compound, Red Crescent reports stated earlier.

Israeli forces denied operating inside Al-Amal Hospital on Tuesday or ordering any such action to be undertaken by Israeli soldiers, in a statement released Tuesday evening.

Israeli forces have accused Hamas of operating command and control centers within hospitals in Gaza, leading them to raid health care facilities like Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, Al-Awda Hospital in Jabaliya, Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahia and Al-Khair Hospital near Khan Younis. Officials and hospital employees from Hamas have rejected Israel’s accusations as unjustified.

Israeli forces made allegations last week regarding Hamas militants operating from Al-Amal Hospital, but this statement issued by the Red Crescent strongly contradicted these assertions and called Israel’s siege an illegal violation of international agreements that safeguard medical and humanitarian missions.

These consequences were especially traumatic for around 7,000 individuals who were forced to seek refuge near hospitals, according to an aid group.

Red Crescent reported on Monday alone that hospital’s surgical ward had closed due to insufficient oxygen supplies; two displaced persons had died trying to retrieve another’s body; emergency teams were having difficulty reaching wounded due to gunfire; they also encountered difficulty reaching those injured by violence between armed groups.

Late Tuesday evening, an aid group announced that a baby girl at Al-Amal Hospital had died due to insufficient oxygen supplies. Occupation vehicles have now left its vicinity while shelling and gunfire continues around it,” stated Red Crescent in its own statement.

President Biden stated on Tuesday that he has decided on an appropriate response to Sunday’s drone strike at an isolated outpost in Jordan that killed three American soldiers and injured over 40, yet did not reveal exactly what action were taken in response.

Questioned by reporters outside the White House as to whether he had made plans for an adequate response to the deadly attack, Mr. Biden answered in the affirmative but declined to provide more details.

John F. Kirby, National Security Council Spokesman declined to elaborate further on Joe Biden’s statements other than to suggest it is likely the US would adopt “a tiered approach”, with multiple actions taken over time.

Biden administration officials have blamed an explosive-laden drone, likely launched from an Iran-backed militia in Iraq, for the deadly assault against American forces since Israel and Hamas started their conflict nearly four months ago in Gaza.

Mr. Biden has pledged retaliation, meeting twice with his national security aides this week to discuss potential targets in Syria, Iraq and Iran. If necessary he could order strikes on Iran’s proxy forces — an escalated step from what the U.S. has been conducting so far across Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

Mr. Biden could also decide to strike directly at Iranian suppliers of drones and missiles, even within Iranian territory if necessary; this approach poses greater risks; among his initial targets may be members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who reside both in Syria and Iraq according to official accounts.

On Tuesday, Vice President Biden stressed his intention of avoiding further regional conflict as he prepared to depart for fund-raising visits in southern Florida. Mr Biden told reporters as he prepared for fund-raising visits: “My goal is not to start another war in the Middle East.

Analysts from the Pentagon and Central Command resumed their investigation of how a drone managed to bypass air defenses at Tower 22 near its borders with Iraq and Syria in northeast Jordan.

On Monday, U.S. officials pinpointed one factor as key: an enemy drone being misidentified as an American surveillance one and air defenses failing to shoot it down before it hit living quarters early Sunday while troops were sleeping, according to US officials.

“This could very well have been a simple identification problem,” noted Thomas Karako, head of the missile defense project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

At Tower 22, approximately 350 Army and Air Force personnel are deployed as a logistic and resupply hub for Al Tanf garrison in southeastern Syria, where U.S. troops collaborate closely with their Syrian partners in fighting remnants of Islamic State.

On Monday, the Pentagon identified three fallen soldiers: Sgt. William Jerome Rivers of Carrollton, Georgia; Specialist Kennedy Ladon Sanders from Waycross and Specialist Breonna Alexsondria Moffett from Savannah; all were assigned to 718th Engineer Company 926th Engineer Battalion 926th Engineer Brigade in Fort Moore Georgia.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Army Reserve announced it had posthumously promoted Specialists Sanders and Moffett to Sergeants as recognition of their extraordinary courage, dedication, and leadership during service to our nation.

On Friday morning at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, Mr. Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III will collect the remains of three fallen soldiers.

Since Israel partially withdrew from the northern Gaza Strip, intense clashes between Israeli soldiers and Hamas militants have escalated rapidly, prompting residents to flee across treacherous terrain in search of safety.

On Sunday night, deafening booms echoed through Gaza City – its most populous city prior to war – as powerful explosions illuminated the night sky. Residents reported this violence came after several weeks of relative calm for some areas in northern Gaza.

Ghada Ikrayyem, 23, an independent solar panel technician reported during an interview: “Initially the situation was calm until bombings, shellings and clashes broke out, according to Ghada’s account of events. Soon thereafter it turned dangerous.”

Ms. Ikrayyem had been living with her parents and nine siblings on the premises of an abandoned tailor shop in Gaza City, sleeping without pillows or blankets for most of this past month.

Israeli security official spoke on condition of anonymity regarding this development as they are not authorized to speak publicly about these developments. Clashes between Hamas fighters and Israeli troops have erupted as the latter attempt to block Hamas regrouping efforts, according to this official.

Fighting suggests that although Israel believes they have destroyed Hamas’ command structures in northern Gaza, Hamas continues to present them with a challenge.

On Monday morning, an Israeli drone flew over Gaza City and issued an order for residents to relocate. Ms. Ikrayyem and her family packed their belongings before following a procession moving south, initially without knowing their destination – until one of Ms. Ikrayyem’s family friends offered shelter to 40 individuals from another family.

“We’re exhausted,” Ms. Ikrayyem confessed. She continued by noting “it seems we just keep running from place to place without stopping for anything”.

Since the start of war in Gaza, approximately two million residents have been uprooted and multiple times. Large families in particular have found it particularly challenging to secure suitable shelter spaces or accommodate for them in friends and relatives’ homes.

Ms. Ikrayyem described how exhausting life was even in moments where fighting had subsided, even during times when water collection, food preparation, and waiting in line to use restroom facilities were accomplished without interruptions from fighting. She recounted long distances travelled in search of water supplies as well as making use of makeshift stoves for food preparation – activities which required walking long distances before reaching her destination.

“Even simple tasks have become daunting endeavors,” she observed.

Ms. Ikrayyem noted that, although certain food was available to her family, skyrocketing prices made them difficult for them to afford. Her family had long relied on rice until recently trying bread made from flour mixed with animal feed — an unusual but increasingly prevalent practice across northern Syria.

Food shortages in northern Gaza have become especially acute, with U.N. officials reporting that aid trucks were not reaching Gaza City or surrounding communities.

Ms. Ikrayyem expressed hope that once the war ends, her family and she may leave Gaza, as life there had become unbearable for all involved. She explained this.

“Almost nothing remains here,” she lamented, and the rebuilding effort will require years – schools, universities, institutions and homes have all been devastated or severely damaged by H2N2.

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